Ready for Success Blog
This is the second in a four-part series on the Race to the Top (RTTT) Round Two finalists. Below, we highlight examples of high school strategies described in six of the RTTT finalists’ proposals.
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the 19 Race to the Top (RTTT) Round Two finalists. In their applications, states were required to project improvement in achievement and graduation rates and to demonstrate how they plan to meet those projections should they be awarded RTTT funds.
Policymakers and educators at the state, district, and building levels are looking to research and evaluation studies to guide policy and practice decisions. Increasingly, applications for federal and state funding require use of “evidence based” or “research supported” strategies, programs, and reform activities.
With the dearth of vetted high school research and research-based interventions, it is important that high school educators acquire skills in determining the rigor of emerging research and that education media writers do a thorough job of fact-checking before quoting from sources that invoke a new “study” or “research report”. For example, several education and news media outlets recently reported “high schoolers less interested in STEM degrees, study says“.
By Peter McWalters and Circe Stumbo (guest bloggers)
On July 17th, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) unveiled new model core teaching standards for public comment. The original teacher standards, created in 1992, focused on the assessment and support of beginning teachers and were incorporated into state regulation in at least 38 states, providing the basis for teacher education, initial certification, and tenure decisions.
Jason Zimba, one of the authors of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, was on a panel at the joint CCSSO/SHEEO national meeting today. He acknowledged that the mathematics standards did not address college and career ready standards in the same way that the English language arts Common Core Standards did.
Vocational education has traditionally been associated with a watered-down set of academic standards. Even more rigorous Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs have often been seen as a pathway for students who struggle with core courses to prevent them from dropping out entirely. The most recent reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 emphasizes rigorous academic standards for all students, including those in CTE programs, and the recent college- and career-readiness trend mirrors this goal.